Reducing the risk of infection Blog

Reducing sick leave with an optimal indoor climate in offices

Dry air, excessively high temperatures and a high CO2 content often impair performance and well-being in offices. Therefore, the indoor climate should be consciously controlled and controlled. This allows you to reduce sick leave and increase productivity. In this blog post, we have summarised exactly how the indoor climate affects you and what measures you can take.

People spend most of their lives indoors. A pleasant indoor climate is an essential prerequisite for reducing sick leave, increasing well-being in the workplace and enabling better performance. Humidity, air quality and temperature are particularly important.

Humidity affects the immune system

At humidity levels between 40 and 60%, the human respiratory immune system can work efficiently. The mucous membranes in the respiratory tract are sufficiently moistened so that viruses can be fended off. Dry air also dries out the mucous membranes. The cilia, which are responsible for removing the germs, are glued together. As a result, there can be more infections and sick leave, which can cause high costs. In order to reduce sick leave, the humidity must be optimized.

Temperature in offices

Too high a temperature can lead to tiredness and exhaustion. In addition, physical complaints such as headaches or dizziness can be exacerbated. This also has a negative impact on productivity. In addition, people often feel uncomfortable in temperatures that are too hot or cold. This can lead to more breaks and lower motivation to work. Therefore, a temperature between 19 and 25°C is recommended. Of course, these values are highly dependent on the activity performed by the people in the room.

Concentration problems due to stuffy air

A CO2 concentration above 1,500 ppm impairs the ability to concentrate. Negative effects of poor air quality can also include headaches, dizziness and fatigue. In addition, research by Harvard Medical School found a correlation between CO2 levels and the risk of infection. Results of their study show that the risk of infection increases with the CO2 content. For these reasons and in order to reduce sick leave, a CO2 content of less than 1,500 ppm is recommended.

Take targeted measures for an optimal indoor climate

Short-term measures to improve the indoor climate can be:

  • Shock ventilation: At least every hour for 5 minutes, with cross-ventilation being more effective.
  • Adjust heating/air conditioning: The heating should be adjusted according to the needs of the employees. Personal control has a positive effect on well-being.
  • Drink enough: Drinking does not improve the indoor climate, but it does moisturize the mucous membranes. This allows the immune system to work effectively.

Long-term measures should also be planned on the basis of the current indoor climate. For instance:

  • Greening: Plants clean the air of pollutants. In addition, they release a large part of the irrigation water back into the air.
  • Monitoring Solutions: Smart building platforms provide an overview of the indoor climate in all rooms and access to real-time values. On the basis of this, further steps can be planned and evaluated.
  • Technical humidification and ventilation: With the help of technical systems, the indoor climate is controlled in the long term. However, the solutions are often expensive and require regular maintenance.

Controlling the indoor climate and reducing sick leave

The indoor climate is influenced by a wide variety of factors, such as the number of people present, their activities, the building structure and the ventilation options. Often, targeted measures can make the decisive difference. In order to plan measures based on facts, the current values must be known.

With the help of smart building platforms, such as LineMetrics, the actual humidity, as well as the temperature and CO2 concentration, can be called up in real time. A sensor is used to record all relevant data in the rooms. Via QR codes, responsible persons can access the current values on the smartphone. With all office spaces at a glance, longer-term measures such as the use of humidifiers can be planned in a targeted manner. This makes it possible to control and optimize the indoor climate in a targeted manner with one solution for all locations. Existing buildings can also be retrofitted within one day.

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